5 Strategies to Outperform Your SaaS Competitors

  • Written By:
    Tim Ferguson
  • Published On:
    August 3rd, 2022
  • Read Time:
    7 Mins
  • Category:
    Growth

The SaaS industry is rapidly growing.

Since 2015, the SaaS industry grew from $31.5 billion to $171.9 billion by 2021.

Although the future of SaaS is promising, it is expected that most SaaS businesses will have to outperform more and more competitors.

In the next ten minutes, we have given you five actionable tips that you can start employing now to outperform the competitors of your SaaS business.

1. Keep up with your customers’ needs

Everything changes fast in the age of the internet and the expectations of your customers are no different. According to a report released by HubSpot in 2022, 90% of leaders agree that customers’ expectations have reached an all-time high.

What makes it worse is that most leaders also agree that they are not equipped to deliver in accordance with these expectations.

This situation of ‘crisis’ presents a great opportunity for you to get ahead of your SaaS competitors. Getting on top of those requirements, acting on them swiftly, and delivering that through your product will put you miles ahead.

Here is how you can keep up with your customer’s ever-evolving needs.

  1. Keep tabs on your competitors: There is always something new you can learn from your competitors. Their new features, a new marketing strategy, etc. These will tell you what your audience is looking for.
  2. Ask your customers: Literally. Listen to all your customers but only act on those that are common to all (or most). Keep upgrading your product in that direction in small iterations while keeping your customers’ feedback at the center.
  3. Study your customers: This will tell you things like what other apps they use, what other problems they face that you can solve, etc. By carefully implementing this, you can find more ways to solve their problems and expand your product’s capabilities.

One of the easy ways in which you can learn more about your customers is to analyze the data you already have. For instance, take a look at which feature of your product they use the most, or which one of your posts on social media gets the most attention.

PayKickstart helps businesses solve this problem by enabling them to run automated surveys. The graphical interface and existing templates can help you create a survey within minutes and the results can be easily accessible through its customizable dashboard.

2. Provide excellent customer service

Loyal customers are the most valuable asset for any SaaS business. To make sure that your buyers remain loyal to your brand, you have to deliver them a world-class experience. It directly correlates with customer satisfaction and retention.

One of the ways to improve customer experience is by giving great customer service. In 2019, a report from Microsoft conducted a survey in which 95% of respondents agreed that good customer service drives brand loyalty. And loyal customers are more likely to upgrade their plans, too.

However, it can be challenging for growing SaaS businesses to deliver personalized customer service experiences due to limited resources.

Fortunately, you can give great customer service to your loyal customers by adopting customer service software. As these applications can be integrated with your existing processes and tech stack, your team will have all the information they need while interacting with customers.

When choosing software to give your customers quality customer service, it is important to keep the following factors in mind.

  1. Scalability is most important: As your business grows, the tools you use to run it should easily incorporate its needs. For instance, if you expand the functionality of your SaaS product with new features, the customer service software should support it.
  2. It should be easy to use: The interface of the app should be simple. If you hire new employees, they should be able to use the software as pros.
  3. Integration with your tech stack: You must be using a few tools that help you run your business effectively. The new software should fit in easily within your existing process for better usability.
  4. Should be versatile: You should be able to provide customer service across various digital channels such as email, social media, live chat, etc.

One of the ways in which you can serve your customers better is by allowing them simple access to their purchase history, enabling transparency. PayKickstart’s Customer Billing Portal helps businesses equip their customers by providing them easy access to their account information and purchase history.

3. Invest in SaaS SEO

In a SaaS founders survey, 90% of respondents said SEO was a “major driver of brand awareness and leads for their business.”

SaaS SEO refers to the white-hat practices that can increase the organic online visibility of your SaaS business by increasing its domain authority and ranking. As a result, you will attract more qualified traffic to your website.

Here are some actionable SEO fundamentals that you can start implementing right now to improve the visibility of your SaaS business.

  1. Focus on important keywords: Learn what search terms your prospective users are inputting into search engines and optimize your website copy and content for those phrases.
  2. Make your site user-friendly: You will be pushing your customers away even with the best product if your website is hard to navigate through. Keep it simple and transparent to deliver an exceptional on-site experience.
  3. Write and distribute quality content: Blog posts, infographics, reports, eBooks, success stories, case studies, etc., are some ways you can give value to your prospects and build your domain authority. Consider investing in a digital asset management tool to efficiently store all your media assets; images, videos, audio files, logos, documents, etc.
  4. Simplify your site’s URLs: For instance, “http://www.saas.com/product_1/use_case_2.html” is much better than “http://www.saas.com/cat?=328/product?=237828/main.html”. The former contributes positively to user experience, hence SEO.
  5. Improve your site architecture: An unsafe, slow, irresponsive, and visually poor website will have a lower domain rating. Make sure that your site’s technical SEO is taken care of and your web vitals are in the desired range.
  6. Get good backlinks: And also disavow the “not-so-good” ones. More backlinks from a variety of authoritative domains will increase your SaaS website’s domain authority.

You can keep an eye on the ROI of your SEO efforts through Google Analytics. Fortunately, PayKickstart allows you to add your own scripts directly to your checkout pages so that vendors can use them to get even more actionable insights to grow their business.

4. Create personalized onboarding tours

Onboarding tours help your users understand how they can use your SaaS product. In the era of self-service and personalization, crafting a unique onboarding experience is vital for the success of your product and outperforming the competition in your niche.

97% of companies agree that a good user onboarding tour is central to SaaS growth.

That is not surprising.

Your customers have an expectation from your SaaS product. More often than not, there is a task they want to complete or a goal they want to achieve. Your product is the medium that will help them do that.

The onboarding tour guides them on how they can use your product to complete a task or achieve that goal. In other words, an onboarding tour illustrates the sequence of steps that your users need to follow to get the value they are looking for.

You can make the onboarding tour for your SaaS product personalized for your user by asking them a few quick questions about how they plan to use the product and the goals they wish to achieve with it when they sign up.

Personalization helps you segment your buyers so that you can target them with specific messages for higher returns. With PayKickstart’s Audience Builder, SaaS businesses can set customized filters to reach their potential customers through various channels.

5. Act on negative reviews

88% of small businesses keep an eye on their online reputation and spend resources to maintain that. That is not surprising, considering that most internet users start their purchase journey on the internet as we have explained earlier.

The real question is, are you doing anything to maintain your online reputation?

Your potential customers are now scrolling through your reviews on websites like G2, Capterra, and Trustpilot. The information they gather from there will be one of the primary deciding factors on whether they should choose you or not.

Now, you might be thinking that the negative reviews for your SaaS business are the worst thing that you have encountered.

For starters, negative reviews are not that bad if they are not in high numbers and are not affecting your overall rating by much. They make your brand more legitimate and will let you know the areas for improvement. 

You can also rely on these nuggets of information to improve your SaaS product.

Furthermore, a bad review gives you a chance to fix an issue with or improve your SaaS product which is positive in the long run. Your existing and potential customers will understand that not only do you take responsibility, but you also make sure that it is resolved.

Here is what you should do when you find a negative review.

  1. Reply back while acknowledging the problem: When you see that one of your customers is not happy with your product, let them know that you are sorry and are working to improve things.
  2. Let them know the issue: Your customers are more likely to cool down after they get a better understanding of the issue. For instance, explain to your customers that your SaaS product is facing server issues whenever they arise.
  3. Tell your solution: Setting the right expectations is necessary when you are resolving a complaint that is based on a product issue. Let your customers know what you will be doing to solve the issue.
  4. Take steps to solve issues permanently: Your customer-facing side of the business should interact with the product and development teams to ensure that a similar inconvenience doesn’t happen to future customers.

It will also serve your SaaS business well to keep in mind that not all negative reviews can be successfully resolved. For instance, there will be certain few fake reviews that you can only report and try to have removed.

Generally, SaaS products are subscription-based services and the first thing a dissatisfied customer does is cancels their subscription. Fortunately, with PayKickstart’s Cancellation Saver widget, you can try to change your buyer’s mind one last time.

When one of your customers wants to unsubscribe from your services, this widget will pop up through which they can contact support to share their grievances. As a business owner, this is a great opportunity for you to retain them and improve your services at the same time.

That’s a wrap

We hope that this article has given you strategies that you can use to get your SaaS business ahead of your competitors in your niche.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He helps marketing agencies with SEO, link building, content marketing, online reputation management, and blogger outreach. When he is not writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.

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